Guest blog post by Peter Salzmann, co-founder, Virtual Shape Research GmbH
Virtual Shape joined the Rhino plug-in developer community more than one year ago and realised very quickly, that one of the most present players here is T-Splines.
We are software developers dealing with free form shape modeling for quite a while at ICEM, PTC and Dassault. So we have a lot of experience with CAD in industries like Automotive and Aerospace, especially with Bezier/Nurbs geometry.
Looking at the T-Splines approach for mathematical surface representation we feel that this is really a technology breakthrough that combines nicely the advantages of subdivision modeling with “Classical Surfacing” using Nurbs.
Especially in the beginning of the design process where shapes need to be explored quickly we believe T-Splines is the unbeatable solution.
So we are extremely happy to cooperate with T-Splines now. While we at Virtual Shape are a T-Splines reseller, T-Splines also now sells our products.
Currently we have the following 3 products available:
VSR Realtime Renderer
With our VSR Realtime Renderer, which is fully embedded in Rhino, you can just change the display mode during the modeling at any time and your current Rhino viewport is switched into “Realtime Rendering” mode. It works great together with T-Splines – Matt from T-Splines created an impressive video showing modeling a car bumper while being in Rendering mode. The Realtime Renderer allows to create different visual variants for presentation like different material assignments and allows very quickly to create high resolution screenshots.
VSR Shape Analysis
Analysis functions which expand Rhinos capabilities, for example a Matching Analysis between curves and surfaces showing numerically the transitions up to G3 (we call it “Flow”). This is extremely important when delivering parts, as often the receiver expects that all surface transisitons are under a certain tolerance for position, tangency and curvature. In addition sections with curvature plots on top are available. And, very important if a user wants to create curves or surfaces on meshes, a deviation graph. All analyses are fully associative and follow the the shape of the geometry when it is modeled. Because of Rhinos great architecture this is of course also true when modeling T-Spline surfaces! The product is called VSR Shape Analysis.
VSR Shape Modeling
A Modeling plug-in called VSR Shape Modeling containing Curve and Surface creation functions on top of polygonal meshes, Blend and Matching up to G3 (“Flow”) and a lot more. All created geometry is very light compared to shapes typically created by Rhino functionality, meaning it is Bezier (or so called Single-Span Nurbs) geometry. Light geometry does not only allow easier modifications, it also reduces the compexity of all shapes created on top like flanges, fillets and blends.
These functions typically come to place, when a Styling model (for example created in T-Splines) has to be tuned and tweaked to meet several criteria of feasibility and manufacturability. The Analysis functions mentioned above are fully included in this plug-in. In addition several geometry functions have directly embedded analysis functionality to ensure a very efficient workflow.
We believe that the combination of Rhino, T-Splines and our Virtual Shape products is delivering together a significant coverage of the digital design process chain.